Photo: by Dallas Breeze
By: Richie Murray – USAC Media
Speedway, Indiana (April 25, 2022)………Fresh off his first victory of the season last Saturday night with the USAC NOS Energy Drink Midget National championship in Oklahoma, Buddy Kofoid has announced his plans to go USAC Silver Crown racing on the dirt in 2022 with Edgerton, Wisconsin team owner Hans Lein starting this Sunday, May 1, at the Terre Haute (Indiana) Action Track.
Kofoid (Penngrove, California), the 2021 USAC National Midget Champion, has yet to set foot in a USAC Silver Crown car, but he will get his fair share this season with plans to compete in four of the five dirt events in Lein’s black #97 (May 1) at Terre Haute, then August 20 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, followed on September 3 at the Du Quoin (Illinois) State Fairgrounds and on September 23-24 at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway.
While Kofoid has yet to formally meet Lein, it was a text from Lein to Kofoid late last year that got the ball rolling and set forth their plans to go champ car racing in the new year.
“It was back in December sometime when I got a text that said, ‘hey, this is Hans Lein, and I’m wondering if you want to drive my car.’ I looked at my schedule of what I had at the time and put together what would work alongside my other obligations. I had a chance to do it last year, but my schedule kept changing, then I got hurt, so it just made it hard to justify doing it. But now I’m glad I’ve got a chance to do it this year, and it’s in a really good car.”
The car he speaks of, wrenched by crew chief Greg Nelson, has been a stalwart on the Silver Crown dirt trail over the past five seasons between 2017-2021 with drivers Tyler Courtney, Dave Darland and Chris Windom. With Courtney, the Lein team captured both the 2017 4-Crown Nationals at Eldora and the 2019 Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.
Kofoid maintains an action-packed schedule of racing events throughout the year, competing regularly in Midgets, Sprintcars, pavement Late Models and even with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Between his experiences in those machines, consisting of a mixture of dirt and long-distance events, Kofoid feels he should be able to adapt to the challenge of Silver Crown’s “big cars.”
“Some of the pavement Late Model stuff I’ve been doing, as well as the truck race, they’re all long races and I really enjoy them,” Kofoid acknowledged. “I feel like, hopefully, I can excel at that, and, hopefully, pick it up and run well. My goal this year is to win across all three of USAC’s national platforms, but I’ve still got some work to do to make that all happen. Silver Crown cars are something I haven’t driven yet and it looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Kofoid, Lein and Nelson will begin their USAC Silver Crown season this Sunday, May 1, at the Terre Haute Action Track in western Indiana.
The 19th running of the Sumar Classic can be watched live and on-demand on FloRacing at https://bit.ly/3dgONXz.